They can’t vote yet, but these Stratford students are polling candidates to help inform voters

They may not be old enough to vote yet, but that hasn’t stopped a group from Stratford, Ontario. high school students to get involved in the October 24 municipal election.

The Stratford District High School Eco Club interviews city candidates on issues important to them and their community, such as wealth inequality and the environment.

So far, they have heard from three mayoral candidates and 20 councilor candidates. Students shared all of their responses online.

« It’s our way of helping the community even though we can’t vote to influence that way, » said 12th grader Colin Fischer.

« It’s always important to be part of the process and help educate people on important issues, like wealth inequality and living space, » he added.

Fellow classmate and club member Thomas Sheldon said it also gave community members a quick and easy way to learn about the platforms.

« It’s…a very crowded field. It’s also not too long a campaign, so it’s hard to get an idea of ​​what each candidate is…So having a centralized space.’s a simple and very simple way to…scroll and get a general idea of ​​each candidate and use that knowledge to be an informed voter,” Sheldon said.

“We just hope this helps educate people,” he added.

Full of hope for the future

In the survey, students asked candidates what their contributions to the council would be, how they planned to protect farmland and respond to climate change, how they would attract new industry to Stratford and how to tackle homelessness, among other things. Questions.

“We were more concerned about environmental issues and how we can act on them through city government, but we also noticed that issues like homelessness and inequality became bigger issues, especially with COVID, » Sheldon said.

The students said they were surprised by the number of people who responded and took the time to answer the questions.

“We got a good range of responses. It was exciting to see that they thought about every answer,” said 12th grade student Sammie Orr.

« They’ve all come in and responded to us…which is an amazing first step…I hope they take that passion and initiative and carry on if they’re elected to the board and move it forward » , she added.

“Even the fact that they went to the effort to provide the answers in the first place shows that they care and are passionate about all aspects of the community, not just those that would benefit them,” added Fisher.

« There are a lot of new and exciting candidates, so hopefully we can get the right people in the office, » Sheldon said.


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